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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:46 am 
I've gone through a tough couple of weeks, but haven't had the energy to post about it. I've been extremely lethargic, sleeping all the time, to the point where I'm barely taking care of my kids and I've had to make up excuses for work. I went to see my Sub doc, and he felt it was depression and upped my AD. I do feel a little better now with the AD, but here's the thing. Whenever i take my Sub I become extremely tired. I fall asleep during the day, or I fall aleep right after supper, before I'm supposed to put the kids to bed. I'm also EXTREMELY irritable. I can't deal with any little aggravation. This is the way I was at the end of my painkiller use. I couldn't get high anymore, and was just taking the pills to avoid getting sick. They made me unbelievably irritable - which is what finally got me in recovery, because i just couldn't take myself any more.

Yesterday I took 1mg of Sub 2X. I could barely stay awake all day and fell asleep at 8pm. I was snapping at my daughter and her friend, (and my daughter keeps commenting on my pinpoint pupils).

I don't know why I'm like this now, after over a year on Sub. The only thing that has changed is that after stopping briefly Iwent back on a low dose (2 to 4 mg/day). Maybe my dose is low enough that it's acting more like a full agonist? All I know is that I don't even want to take it anymore, but I'm terrified of feeling the way I felt when I quit.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:31 am 
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Hi Lilly, I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. I also believe what you are describing could be depression. Irritability is a common symptom of depression, one that a lot of people don't realize.

I also think you might be onto something with regard to your dose acting like a full agonist. At that low dose your opiate receptors are not fully saturated, so it does act more like a full agonist.

Do you go to therapy at all? At the end of your using days, the meds you used to self-medicate didn't do the job anymore. They likely stopped numbing your feelings. I know it happened that way for me. If a person used pain pills in that way (to self medicate, but not everyone does) then after being on suboxone for a while (after the "honeymoon phase"), we end up left with the very same feelings we had that we used to self-medicate. Is this making any sense? I feel like I'm not expressing my thoughts very well. Anyway, these feelings remain unresolved and can cause some of the things you're describing.

Obviously what I'm talking about is merely my own theory. I'm not a psychologist or anything, although I have been in therapy longer than some people have been alive and I think I've learned a few things along the way.

I remember what happened when you went off suboxone the last time. For this reason I would suggest delving into why this could be happening before just quitting sub again. It could very well be emotional and/or psychological. At least that's what I think is a possibility.

Hang in there, my friend. I've been where you are and I do know that it can get better. We're here for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:09 pm 
Mel, what you are saying makes perfect sense, in fact. I think the depression is a huge piece of it, and I'm not going to quit Sub with no plan in place like I tried to do before.
I just feel so stuck and so low on energy that I can't force myself to do anything. I'm not even answering my phone, let alone making calls to try to reach out for more help.
My husband is just angry at me, which is making things worse. He thinks I should just "snap out of it", like he thought i should "just quit" when it came to the addiction.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:21 pm 
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I'm so sorry about your husband. I happen to agree with you that his anger at you IS making it worse. Men just don't get it sometimes, do they? I understand it's probably difficult for him to see you so depressed and he's probably worried about you. In fact if he's anything like some of the men I know (including my husband) he's a "fixer" and is going crazy right now because he can't fix this for you. Unfortunately he's taking his frustration out on you.

About 2 months ago my depression changed and hit a really bad low. I had my antidepressant increased considerably (my Celexa dose went from 20 mg to 60 mg). I have to say, for me I was feeling better in about a week. So you might have to give it a little time for the increase in your dose to take effect, how long will depend on the increase.

If you're left to your own devices to deal with this depression (if you won't be seeing a therapist), try to do a couple of things: Try your damnedest to force yourself to at least get out and exercise. Take a walk or ride around the block on your bike. I understand it's the very last thing you want to or feel like doing right now, but you've gotta force yourself. The other thing I would recommend is to start journaling. It really does help! You've got to express all those intense emotions you're experiencing. My therapist taught me that when our emotions are high (intense) our rational thinking is just the opposite - very low. In other words, when our emotions are very strong, we literally can't think straight. The more you can express what you're feeling, the more that rational thought will start to return. Gee, I guess I have learned something from my therapist over the last 6 1/2 years! LOL.

Seriously though, I really hope you start feeling better soon. PM me anytime if you just want to talk.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:09 pm 
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Hi Lily--

I feel for you regarding depression and it really is try that irritability can be a symptom. I'm glad you posted about it. Hatmaker's already given you good advice, and in fact, it applies to me as well, so...I'm going to try to force myself to get outside now and at least walk around the block. So....I just thought I'd let you know, in case you are struggling to get yourself to get out and get some exercise too. Hatmaker is so right about exercise being the last thing we want to do when we're depressed, but it often really can make such a big difference. Ok--I'm going NOW. I hope you feel better soon, and finding the right dose for sub sounds like it might be the thing..so I hope you can talk to your doctor about that right away. Meanwhile, do what you can to take care of yourself. I think sunshine can really help depression sometimes so I hope you can get some of that. Please keep posting and let us know how you're doing.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Hey Lilly,

I'm sorry your feeling so crappy right now :cry: The others have suggested the depression being the cause which is very possiable and that you may be on to low of a dose which I can also see too. But what your describing seems to me like the way I felt when I was on to high of a dose. Maybe when you went off for awhile {which I don't recall the details of that} your tolarence went down also. When I relapsed and went back on subs I went back on a lower dose and it worked for me. Anyway its just a suggestion, I really hope you feel better soon, keep us posted :D


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 Post subject: A word on tapering
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:59 am 
Thanks everybody for your feedback. I know the things I need to do when I'm depressed, like exercize, but when I'm deep in it I just can't force myself to get out and do it. I am feeling a little better, though, and I worked a couple of days this week which forced me to get up and out.
As far as the extreme tiredness with the Sub goes: I've been taking 0.5mg 3X/day (which I know isn't an approved dosing schedule for maintenence) and it's not making me as sleepy. I'm not having anything close to cravings, or thoughts of using, or else I wouldn't go this low.

I feel like I should post something under one of the tapering threads. Someone recently said the battle STARTS at 2mg and I agree (2mg or less). I originally started at 12mg and went down to 6mg after my car accident with zero effect. Then I went down to 4mg (0 effect). Then at the end of last month i dropped to 2mg, just because i was running low on my script, again no withdrawals. Now I'm down to 1.5mg/day, and really I feel nothing resembling opiate withdrawals at all. I don't want to do anything stupid, because I'm dealing with the depression, but I'm planning on trying 1mg next week.

Maybe the real withdrawals begin at 1mg or less, which is mind blowing, especially when some docs are telling people to get down to 2mg and then stop. I'm wondering if someone is able to get down to 0.5mg/day (one fourth of a 2mg tab) maybe they could go on the temgesic patch(es) to taper off painlessly and not have to use the liquid taper method.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:11 am 
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Hi Lilly,

Thanks for updating us. So am I understanding you right that you ARE going to go off suboxone? It sounds like that's what you're planning. Are you sure that you're going off it for the right reasons? I'm just worried about you is all. But then maybe I'm misunderstanding you.

I'm glad you got out and about for a day or two. That alone should help you with the depression. What kind of dose increase did you get on your antidepressant? I'm just curious because what helped me was a really high dose increase - and from what I can tell I'm still not having any side effects. (Celexa is the best one I've ever been on.)

Please let me know if I'm misunderstand you. And take good care of yourself.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:42 pm 
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Hey Lilly- I'm glad to hear that the lower dose broken up over the day is working a little better for you.

I was wondering if this depression is a fairly recent developent; it could possibly be SAD? I live in the Pacific Northwest and I get hit with similar symptoms around this time every year. About 2 years ago my doctor checked my Vitamin D levels and they were really low so he put me on a perscription D supplement, it was like 50,000 IU's and I took it once a week for 2 months, then I just took OTC vitamin D (I take 2500 IUs a day). Anyway, I felt better like the day after that first mega-dose. My doctor told me that pretty much everyone in North America should be on supplemental vitamin D from like October to May because there just isn't enough sunlight for our bodies to process adequate vitamin D.

I also had my husband rig up a really bright light in the garage & I try to sit down there and read or meditate or talk on the phone or whatever for a little while every day, and I try to go outside if there is any sun at all. These small things seemed to make a larger impact on my depression than my meds did.

I hope you continue to feel better. Take care and keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:51 pm 
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My doctor swears up and down that suboxone doesnt make you sleepy, but it does! Ever since Ive been taking it, Ive had trouble staying awake at my desk at work. Ive been saying for a while I need to taper off once and for all, Ive been without meds for three days and havent been sleepy at work at all, so I know now for sure it was the suboxone.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:00 am 
Actually I'm not planning on going off completely at this point. I talked to my doc about it and we both agreed that while I'm struggling with depression, coupled with the time of year, it's not a good time to go off and that I should at least wait until spring (he would like me to stay on maintenence longer, because of my long drug history, but said he will support my decision if I want to go off). Right now I'm just trying to get to the lowest dose possible without having withdrawals, which is turning out to be much lower than I imagined possible.

As far as my AD goes I'm going to a dose of Lexapro which I beleive is equivalent to 3X the dose of Celexa I was formerly on. I have reservations about this, because at higher doses of ADs I feel like I have no affect, that I'm totally flat. Also, I have had sexual side effects. But I have to pick the lesser of the 2 evils at this point because I can't live my life not being able to get out of bed. Just like with addiction, I HATE that I have this illness, but I have to accept it just as if I had a physical disease.

DOAQ - actually, I have a long history of clinical depression, which I believe is at least partially at the root of my addiction. But I do beleive that the time of year affects me, and more light and vitamin D are good ideas.

MSL2 - I hope you'll tell us more about yourself and let us support you through going off Sub. Are you doing it without tapering? I hope you'll post again and let us know how it is going.

Again, everyone, thanks for your words of support. It really means the world to me. I am very alone out here in the real world.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:43 am 
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I'm glad you updated us, Lilly, because I was thinking about you. The Vitamin D is a really good idea. I was on the same prescription dose as Diary, something like 50K a week for 2-3 months. Now I take it over the counter daily. I also take Vitamin B-100 (better than the B-complex). It helps with fatigue, too, which can be a big part of depression. Lastly, I take L-Carnitine. I take a prescription dose of 330mg per day, but I know you can get it over the counter, too. I know this helps my fatigue because I ran out and stopped taking it for awhile and wow, what a difference! I highly recommend the carnitine, even more so than the B vitamin.

When they increased my Celexa, they tripled it and I felt better within a week. I hope the same happens for you.

Finally, I think you and your doc are smart to wait to get this depression under control before making any other changes. Spring will get here before you know it. Remind yourself that what you're feeling is temporary. You'll get through this. I know you know all of this, but if you're anything like me during my major depressive episodes, then it's good to remind yourself of those things.

Feel better soon and keep us updated. Hang in there.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: Fatigue with subs
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:14 pm 
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My doc is now giving me PROVIGIL 200mg X a day and problem is solved!
I feel great,much less depressed(I take effexor for major major depression)
and not jittery in the least!
Sub has saved my life and Provig has given it back :lol: :lol: :lol:


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